Ever wonder about instructional text versus grade level text when teaching literacy to students with Autism and significant disabilities? We have some answers!

Teaching Literacy to Students with Autism

Teaching Literacy to Students with Autism

I read a lot… I wish I had time to read more! I recently read an article about instructional level text as a tool to improve reading. This has always been something that has bothered me. Teachers have long believed that the only text appropriate for older students who happened to be low readers is instructional level text. In other words, text that corresponds with their assessed reading level. I have always thought otherwise. When you get to students in middle and high school, presenting only instructional level text limits a student’s exposure to challenging materials and also throttles their learning. So what does that mean when you’re teaching literacy to students with Autism and significant disabilities?

Ever wonder about instructional text versus grade level text when teaching literacy to students with Autism and significant disabilities? We have some answers!

Dora in High School

It never fails, at least once a school year I walk into a high school classroom and see an almost adult reading a Dora or Barney book.

 

It literally makes me groan.

 

What would make anyone think a 17-year-old would want to read a Dora book? Whenever I talk about it with the teacher, the reaction is always the same. The student is reading a book that is appropriate for their “instructional reading level”.

It sounds very formal, and almost convincing… But truth be told, teachers have been holding on to the idea of instructional level text for so long- does it really apply when you’re teaching literacy to students with Autism or other significant disabilities?

 

Personally, I don’t think so.

Ever wonder about instructional text versus grade level text when teaching literacy to students with Autism and significant disabilities? We have some answers!

Looking for some easy ways to use BIGMacks in your classroom? Here are 5 quick and easy ideas that will help!

Meaningful Ways to BIGMack

They’re in your classroom… and they’re pretty easy to use.

But they’re not.

They sit without batteries collecting dust.

They are programmed to do nothing.

But Why?

Meaningful Ways to BIGMack

When I first encountered a BIGMack in the classroom I thought it was a nice little gadget that I would learn to use someday. Well, someday took a long time to come.

It wasn’t that it was complicated to use, but since I had never used one before it might as well have been quantum physics. It also wasn’t that it was useless, but since I had never used it before I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

To save you from the long learning curve involved in “I’ll eventually get to it”, let’s just cut to the chase. Here are 5 quick and easy things you can do with the stock of BIGMacks you have in your room.

Happy Holidays from NoodleNook- Get some FREE Printables to add to your toolbox. All printable, ready to go, and totally FREE!

Happy Holidays from NoodleNook

Happy Holidays from NoodleNook!

Roller Coaster

Whenever we come back from Thanksgiving it feels like a frantic roller coaster to the Holiday Break. There is just so much to do- and little has to do with instruction! There is paperwork to finish, activities for the holidays, and then campus things like exams and report cards… And you know what happens (not to you because you’re a rockstar)? Sometimes teachers just stop teaching.

I know, I know… what?!?

So how do you manage the Roller Coaster and have a bit of a break before your break.

Vocational Targets for Students with Autism- 7 Skills to help get your students job ready.

Vocational Targets for Students with Autism

Vocational Targets for Students with Autism

Every year when I sat down with one of my favorite students to get ready for her IEP meeting, we had nearly the same conversation…

Me: So Katie, what do you want to do when you graduate.

Katie: I want to deliver babies.

Me: That means being a doctor. You would have to go to college for a long time to do that.

Katie: That’s okay. I like school.

Me. Katie, you can’t read and don’t like to write. It may be hard to get into medical school and graduate.

Katie: I guess so.

Me: Is there another job might like?

Katie: Yes! I want to deliver babies!

Me: *Sigh*